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Don’t get me wrong, I will (and so will many Philadelphia 76ers fans) miss Thaddeus Young. Young is one of six players in franchise history to have recorded at least 7,000 points, 2,800 rebounds, 700 assists and 700 steals with the Sixers. But Hinkie and the Sixers have propelled the chess pieces forward once more. As a 76er, Young was a true gamer. He played larger than 6’6” and had power and finesse in his game. Young also excelled in transition, ran with a commitment to score, sacrificed his body, defended, and read the defense well at the “point of confrontation” on NBA screen and roll options.Sixers photo: http://www.gcobb.com

So why let him go? 

Simply put, by the time the 76ers are viable, he will be a veteran and no longer a core member of the team. I am hopeful that he will star for the Wolves at the young age of 26 and hopefully well beyond.   

Building Chemistry

Hinkie has done it again and this may be yet another win/win situation. Consider Hinkie’s vision and perception: Mbah a Moute, a heady defensive juggernaut, was brought in to create comfort in the locker room for incoming Joel Embiid, as both are from Cameroon.

Most proponents of the Young deal look at it quite logically. While it pains a basketball junkie to see Young go (talent & “character” are always missed), the truth is, by the time the 76ers have the pieces in order, Young would be 30 or 31 years old. Now is the time to make such deals, and Hinkie’s bold implementation is to be admired. Hinkie represents the person in leadership who moves forward philosophically without compromising his mission. He is trying to surgically repair the franchise one thread at a time.

Another feather in Hinkie’s cap is that the Young deal shows his ability to make sensible additions by subtractions. No one can accuse you of tanking when you acquire two more players with intangibles, plus a first-round pick from one of the great franchises in sports.

As for the detractors, they will claim that Young was the heart and soul of the team. Which is of course, true, but this does little in helping sustain the big picture. It actually would be cruel to have Young show up in Philly every day for four years while they rebuild, knowing you could have dealt him away while giving everyone a better opportunity.

Scouting the Newest 76ers

Alexey Shved: Devastating shooter, especially off the catch, but he can shoot off the dribble as well. He has the ability to find the open man and he can get to the rim. Defensively, he is still developing as his foot speed is not the best. In light of this, he is very efficient and has an excellent economy of motion. He ran a lot of the standard “Horns” formation and the “Jungle Series” at Minnesota, (i.e. the old “Corner Offense” of Rick Adelman) which entails many same side cuts, ball-screens on the wing, and high post feeds. Shved can shoot off flare screens very well and is effective in broken plays in the half court. 76ers Assistant Coach Vance Walberg, a master clinician and drill coach, will delight in Shved’s abilities from all five perimeter spots.

Luc Mbah a Moute: A very tough and physical player that likes contact and has the ability to turn a 45% field goal jump shooter into a 39% shooter. This is crucial at any level. Also, he is known as a good help-side defender that jams cuts and he takes jump shooters out of rhythm by “crowding” or what George Karl would call, “body bumping.” He attacks the glass strong as a weak side rebounder. He also plays post defense well and forces players out of mid-range and onto the perimeter. How good of a defender is he? He has often been called on to cover the likes of Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant – so, you do the math.

Dan Falcone is a teacher and basketball coach with more than ten years of experience. He has a Masters in Modern American History from LaSalle University in Philadelphia and currently teaches in secondary education near Washington, D.C.  Dan is also a writer for the Sixer Sense.



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